But Roper’s book is also the kind of heart-warming story that makes a reviewer feel like a pedant for calling out such anomalies. The unevenness is forgivable in a book that brings so many other pleasures, not least a vivid cast of side characters whose problematic lives bleed nicely into Andrew’s.
Andrew is living a lie. His colleagues in the local council believe he has a loving wife and two kids when, in fact, he lives alone with his model train set and his Ella Fitzgerald recordings...
The realities of his situation are exposed with the force of a punch to the gut in this poignant but uplifting novel that’s related with great compassion and humour.
Something to Live For competently offers another serving of the same pleasure as its template. As reader, you are throughout in possession of the emotional responsiveness that the protagonists have suppressed in themselves, so you can feel for them as much as you like from a position of some comfort. Soothing!
This perfect, quirky summer page-turner follows Andrew, who’s trying to hide the lie of his life — that he has 2.4 children and a perfect wife. As he spirals out of control pretending to be something he’s not and is overcome with loneliness, your heart will break. A life-affirming debut.
Andrew started his new job, he told his work colleagues about the wife and 2.4 children he had at home - except he lied, and now, he's about to be caught out. But maybe this is what he needs to learn how to really live and be happy. Endearing and delightful.